The headsets are incredibly capable - too bad they're only compatible with iOS at the moment
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I've worn hearing aids since kindergarten and it's amazing how much this technology has changed in the last quarter century. My first hearing aids were bulky and large, and I relied on an external FM microphone to better hear my teachers in the front of the classroom. Unlike my current Phonak Audéo M70 set, which is almost invisible and offers native Bluetooth audio and phone call streaming with no special hardware required. However, the Phonak Audéo that I own is on the higher end of the price spectrum, and people who are just beginning the journey to better hearing may be reluctant to get such specialized and expensive devices. Enter Jabra Enhance Plus.
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You might know Jabra for thatexcellent headphonesHowElite 5, but you may not know that the company is part of a much larger audio empire, the GN Group. This conglomerate also includes hearing aid specialist GN Hearing, the company behind ReSound hearing aids. Leveraging their resources across their various brands, the Jabra Enhance Plus benefits from extensive research and development in the hearing aid department while looking like good old regular headphones, nothing compared to the all too often stigmatized headphone look for deafness ( (which is a topic people like to exaggerate anyway).
The Jabra Enhance Plus aren't true hearing aids, but they're certainly much more than regular headphones with some hearing enhancement features. If you notice that your hearing is deteriorating, but it's not bad enough to require hearing aids, these could be the perfect solution.
- Battery life
- 12 HOURS; 35 extra hours just in case
- noise cancellation
- Suitable for iPhone hearing aids only
- IP rating
- Supported codecs
- SBC, AAC
- USB-C in a case
- 800 $
- Much closer to my $5,000 headphones than I expected
- All-day battery life with mixed streaming and hearing aid usage
- Incredibly small even compared to regular headphones
- The included three standard earcup sizes aren't as comfortable as bespoke shapes
- At very high boost levels, Enhance is prone to feedback
- No Android Compatibility (But It's Coming Eventually)
$800 at Amazon $800 at Best Buy $800 for Jabra
Availability and Compatibility
The Jabra Enhance Plus is available in the US and Europe, although in Europe it's just called the Jabra Enhance (without the Plus), which is what I tested here. However, since these are the same devices under a different brand name, I'll refer to them as the Enhance Plus in this review.
You can buy them for $800 from Amazon and Best Buy. That might seem expensive compared to all the great entry-level headphones on the market, but keep in mind that regular hearing aids cost well over $1,000. This puts the Jabra Enhance Plus right in the middle between headphones and hearing aids.
First, let's get the biggest downside out of the way. The Jabra Enhance Plus are currently only compatible with iPhones, although the company has promised Android support in the near future. Even then, Jabra Enhance Plus will likely only work with a selection of Android devices since it's based on itASHA, Google's dedicated Bluetooth low energy connectiontailor-made for hearing aids. I'm sure it's all like thatthe best android phonesHowever, they will have support out there for it.
The Jabra Enhance Plus are currently only compatible with iPhones, although the company has promised Android support in the near future.
designs and materials
As someone who regularly wears over-the-ear hearing aids, the first thing that struck me about the Jabra Enhance Plus is how small and light it is. Even compared to in-ear headphones like the ReSound One pictured below, the Jabra Enhance Plus feel incredibly small. Even compared to in-ear headphones like the ReSound One, both the case and the headphones themselves are significantly smaller.
The headphones I received for this review come in a black case and are black themselves, giving them an understated and clean look. They fit comfortably in your ears and almost disappear in them, unlike the legendary Apple AirPods or other headphones that have protruding parts. You don't really see the single finger-sized button until you wear them. This button is for volume control, phone call options, and re-pairing. To turn them on, just take the earbuds out of the case, and to turn them off, put them back in the case.
To gauge battery life, there are LEDs on both the headphones and the case, giving you traffic light-like indicators (green for full, amber for half full, and red for almost empty). What I really don't like about the case is the slick finish, which might protect the headphones better from bumps, but makes them incredibly difficult to clean and keep dust free.
ReSound One in-ear headphones in the foreground and Jabra Enhance Plus in the background
setup and application
The construction of these hearing aid-like devices is quite different from the construction of a regular Bluetooth headset, so it's worth taking a closer look. To get started, you'll need to download the Jabra Enhance app from the App Store, which conveniently shares the same name as the headphones themselves.
The app then guides you through the process of putting the headphones in your ear, making it clear that a good and comfortable fit is important. This happens even when prompted to try a different size ear tip if you can't get a clean fit. After some experimentation I finally settled on the large version and highly recommend trying all sizes thoroughly to find which one works best for your ears.
The setup will then guide you through the personalization process. Hearing loss is rarely just a matter of loudness, and you likely have problems with specific sounds and frequencies rather than all sounds. After you provide the app with more information about your gender and age, the app plays a series of increasingly loud tones in one ear and then the other. Your job is just to touch the touch screen once you hear the sound. This is exactly the same process you would do if you had a hearing care professional fit your devices.
Once the Jabra Enhance Plus has adjusted to your hearing, you can select your preferred speech filter. A coffee scene will play in your headphones, allowing you to instantly hear the difference between Jabra's clear, normal and full filters. Once you're done with that, you get a simplified view of your profile, showing you what treble, mid and bass adjustments Jabra has made to suit your hearing.
By default, the Jabra Enhance Plus uses a listening mode volume of 7 out of 10 when you take it out of the case. However, you can change this to save your last setting in Settings. Personally, I found the default listening volume to be too low compared to my hearing aids, so I had to manually crank it up to 10 to keep up with my headphones. However, for me with a moderate hearing loss, this is an issue - if you're someone with only mild hearing loss who isn't willing to get proper hearing aids, this is the default settingmustYou're good to go, but make sure to make adjustments and tweaks along the way.
This whole process can seem daunting and complicated at first, but the app does a good job of walking you through everything quickly and with just the right amount of detail. All in all, the complete install and unzip process, including downloading the app, took me 15 minutes, although I did spend some time taking screenshots, pictures, and notes.
Speaking of unpacking, inside the box you'll find the headphones themselves, three different sizes of vented and closed ear tips, a manual, and a USB-C to USB-A cable.
After initial setup, as with any pair of hearing aids, it comes down to subsequent fitting and adjustment. The earbuds you have selected may be too big or too small. Therefore, be sure to try all three sizes offered. Jabra also has vented ear tips that ensure air gets into your ear canals, which can result in a more natural listening experience at the expense of volume and bass. I would definitely recommend trying both ends with your ears closed for a few days. It takes a bit of getting used to as your voice will sound very different than what you're used to, but the extra volume and bass are an important part of the normal headphone experience when you just want to listen to music or make calls. However, vented tips will make your voice sound much more natural, so you need to choose your replacement options carefully.
You should also change the listening mode volume and see which gain best suits your needs. If necessary, also change the listening mode from adaptive to peripheral or focused depending on the environment you are in. In most cases, the adaptive feature should work fine. However, if you prefer a more natural listening experience, Surround is the way to go. Note, however, that this will make you lose some of the smart features. Additionally, if you go to the settings, you can change the language filter you selected during the setup process.
if u get onehearing test, you can easily compare your results to this chart to see if Jabra Enhance Plus is right for your hearing loss
After using the devices for a while, the Jabra Enhance app will prompt you to run the hearing test again. This is to ensure that your hearing remains well supported after you have become sufficiently accustomed to the devices and a hearing care professional would be with you for the first few weeks after acquiring your hearing aids. You can also manually take your hearing test in the app at any time, which I found much more convenient than having to make an appointment with my hearing care professional.
The IP52 protection against dust and water is also a great advantage if you want to listen to music while exercising or hear your trainer better. For me, the headphones stayed in my ears for an entire 45-minute HIIT session, which is a testament to their water and dust resistance and snug fit.
Audio and sound quality
After setting everything up to my liking and then using the headphones for a few days, I was surprised at how close the Jabra Enhance Plus came to my $5,000 Phonak headphones. They may not be as comfortable as custom earmolds over long periods of time, and may not achieve the same fidelity as dedicated hearing aids when hearing the sounds and voices around you, but I had surprisingly little trouble understanding people like me from my headphones.
That makes the Jabra headphones particularly impressive considering I have more than a mild hearing loss, which is what they are designed and advertised for. My hearing is probably at the limit of what the Jabra Enhance Plus can do as I had to manually crank the volume to the maximum. For me, this also has the side effect that there is occasional microphone feedback. The headphones are specifically advertised as being immune to this, which leads me to believe that in the end I either settled on headphones that didn't 100% suit me, or that I am amplifying my hearing beyond the level the headphones are intended. However, apart from this small issue, everything else worked fine.
As I mentioned earlier, the sound quality and perceived richness of sound was nothing like my real headphones. However, with the Jabra Enhance Plus I was able to enjoy a night at the cinema and a visit to a loud bar to the fullest and after a while I lost the feeling that I was missing out on the finer nuances of the sound. As soon as I put my headphones back on I would immediately notice a difference, but again, the Jabra Enhance Plus are incredibly impressive given the price and feature set.
When it comes to the quality of streaming audio, I want to be extra honest. This is my first audio review and as I am hard of hearing my perception of sound is very different from that of someone with normal or near normal hearing. Because of this, I hesitate to make any definitive statements about audio streaming quality. I feel the Jabra Enhance Plus offers a better streaming experience than my Phonak devices, if only because I chose to stick with fully closed ear tips while my hearing aids have vented ear tips. I'm also incredibly pleased with how well the Jabra Enhance Plus blocks out outside noise when you turn the external mics down to zero. I could easily listen to my podcasts and music while vacuuming, which is something I usually struggle with.
On phone calls, I could hear the other side clearly as long as I stayed close enough to my iPhone - I feel like the range is a bit shorter than regular Bluetooth headphones like the Bose 700. More importantly, the people who I called and was able to confirm this sounds great even in noisy environments. I can't say that about my Phonak headphones. With them, the other side would always have trouble understanding me, which would usually force me to switch to the earphone, which is a much more uncomfortable way of hearing someone with hearing aids.
The Jabra Enhance Plus is advertised as having 12 hours of battery life on a single charge, which can be extended up to 35 hours with the charging case. I was skeptical that I could last a full day with the headphones as I wear my headphones every waking hour of the day (which is 18-20 hours). However, I didn't manage to work through them in a single pass.
That's partly because the Jabra Enhance Plus made me realize I don't really wear my headphones all the time. After breakfast I can quickly recharge them while in the shower, and during my regular short naps or after work I would also take them out so they can recharge in their suitcase. The same applies to use during training. Despite their IP rating, I don't wear the Jabra Enhance Plus (and neither do my hearing aids, by the way) as I'm prone to sweating profusely.
Even then, Jabra's 12-hour rating is on the low end of what you can expect from them. Although I'm probably using Enhance at one of the highest possible settings, the devices certainly deliver what they promise and then some.
Sony offers similar self-fitting hearing aids, the CRE-E10. The company promises up to 26 hours of continuous use and four sizes of included ear tips, which is an improvement over the Enhance. However, these devices are more expensive at $1,300 and are marketed as true hearing aids. Like the Jabra Enhance Plus, they are only compatible with iOS. Sony is also not a manufacturer of hearing aids, although the company has partnered with WS Audiology, a well-known name in the hearing aid industry, for this product.
If you're not ready to settle into over-the-counter hearing aids or even the Jabra Enhance Plus, the $250 Apple AirPods Pro are a much more affordable way to enter the world of hearing enhancement — compared to the other options here, they are almost affordable. When paired with an iPhone or iPad, AirPods Pro offer a Conversation Boost feature that uses computer audio and beamforming to focus the microphones on the people in front of you, making it easier to have conversations in noisy environments. The other options here offer the same functionality plus many more.
On the Android side is theSamsung Galaxy Buds 2 ProThey seem like a good choice as a first attempt at hearing improvement. The company recently released an update that offers higher levels of amplification for the Ambient Sound option, which penetrates and amplifies external noise before it reaches your ears.
Sennheiser Conversation Clear Plus is compatible with Android
If you're looking for over-the-counter hearing aids that look like the Jabra Enhance Plus here, then you've come to the right placeSennheiser Conversation Clear Plusit might be interesting. We only had a brief hands-on session with them at CES 2023, so we can't comment on their long-term real-world utility, but the big plus is that they're Android-compatible, and they're roughly the same price as the Enhance Plus - $850 , if available.
Should you buy it?
If you feel like your hearing isn't what it used to be, but you are still confident that you need professional help, or you don't want hearing aids for any reason, Jabra Enhance Plus is the stopgap solution for you . Even as someone who is more than a little hard of hearing, the Jabra Enhance Plus is surprisingly powerful and - on top of the great headphones - can help me get through my everyday life comfortably.
I started this review with the intention of being disappointed and came away with a much richer experience than I ever expected. If you're someone with a less severe hearing loss, the experience could be even better, as the Jabra Enhance Plus was pushed to the limit with my poor hearing.